Jamie Thayer Scates

Jamie Thayer Scates serves as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the American Medical Student Association (AMSA), the largest, independent student medical association. In this role, Jamie focuses on mapping the vision, strategy, funding and growth plans for the global organization. She heads up partner development with foundations, nonprofits, and social enterprises; builds networks; and coalesces teams.

Spurred by an unwavering belief that change is possible—that healthcare can be reimagined to better serve all people—Jamie brings a special kind of pragmatic idealism to the table. She is quick to see the bigger picture, to push edges and to envision strategies that are both bold and sustainable. Her lead-by-example work ethic is inspiring; AMSA’s governance, staff and partners rise to meet high expectations on timely, relevant and meaningful issues.

During Jamie’s 10 years with AMSA, new partnerships have been crystallized, profits have increased, new revenue streams have been tapped, and the staff is reinvigorated. Her most recent accomplishments include the launch of the Institutional Partnership Program and a significant financial turnaround for the organization.

Outside of AMSA, Jamie serves on the Board of Directors for the Academic Medical Professionals Insurance Risk Retention Group, LLC. For the past three years she has served as a scholarship judge for Phi Theta Kappa’s Spring Scholarship Application competition, which awards nearly $300,000 to more than 250 students. She is a graduate of Seth Kahan’s Visionary Leadership Academy.

When she’s not blazing new paths for AMSA, you can find Jamie advocating for economic, social and environmental justice in other ways—as an involved citizen, curious globe-trotter, training in Brazilian jiu jitsu, supermom to two beautiful children, and wife to an amazing (and, obviously, supportive) husband.

James Slayton, M.D.

James M. (Jim) Slayton has served in many AMSA roles during his career, including National President (1989-1990) and Foundation Board of Directors member and President (2002-2012, 2014-2016).  He has been a senior Medical Director with Optum Behavioral Health since 2004 and in serves in a quality improvement oversight position related to potential fraud, waste and abuse in healthcare.  He is a former associate residency training director and has continued in a teaching role with the Cambridge Health Alliance and Harvard Medical School.  He is a graduate of Brown University, Stanford Medical School and Harvard Business School.  He is an avid choral musician and cellist, and is the proud father of three children with his husband, Phillip Hernandez, in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Reshma Ramachandran, M.D., M.P.P.

Reshma Ramachandran, M.D., M.P.P., is a health services researcher, family physician, and National Clinician Scholars Program fellow at Yale School of Medicine. Her research focuses on the realignment of incentives for healthcare stakeholders including pharmaceutical companies and hospitals towards prioritizing patients over profits. Prior to this role, Reshma worked as research faculty as part of the Innovation + Design Enabling Access (IDEA) Initiative at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where she focused on antimicrobial resistance and access to medicines including state and federal drug pricing proposals. She and her colleagues supported efforts in Maryland among other states to curb high drug prices by helping draft legislation, providing background materials, and offering testimony to legislators. Dr. Ramachandran trained in both medicine at the Alpert Medical School at Brown University and in public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She completed her family medicine residency at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center. Previously, she served as the first PharmFree Fellow with the American Medical Student Association focused on removing the undue influence of pharmaceutical companies on prescribing behavior and medical education. She currently serves as co-Chair of the National Steering Committee for the Doctors for America Drug Affordability Action Team. She also is a board member of Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM) North America and the American Medical Student Association Foundation.

Fiza Farrukh

Mrs. Farrukh is a Pakistani-American student aspiring to practice as an internist and eventually a cardiologist. Having graduated with high honors from high school, Fiza is the recipient of the Robert Gillespie Reid Memorial Scholarship and the University of Toronto Scholars Program. She has always immersed herself in the healthcare field; she worked and volunteered regularly at the Canadian Blood Services and Janeway Children’s Hospital over the course of several years, and, as of now, strives to increase her volunteerism and advocacy. She strives to enter the public health sector one day, and, in particular, is keen on understanding the gaps between US healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors. Fiza also has a particular interest in medical education.

She began her medical career at the Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS) in Karachi, Pakistan: she is now a sixth and final year medical student completing her clinical rotations through Medical University of Silesia (MUS) in the US. During her theory years she became a member and Tutoring Advisor for her local AMSA Chapter and subsequently, her Chapter’s President. She later worked with AMSA National as International Membership Director from 2019 – 2021. Fiza also worked as Education Lead for the Science Innovation Union’s Katowice Chapter, an Oxford University based non-profit that tries to bridge the gap between academia, industry and governments to build a new generation of bio-entrepreneurs.

In the past three years, she has set up a successful tutoring program for international students, personally tutored in physiology and anatomy, and set up many educational and clinical workshops for her fellow students. Now as International Trustee, she looks forward to becoming a better physician and coordinator whilst learning more about public health, global health and medical administration to ultimately provide better access health care to those in her home-countries, USA and Pakistan.

She hopes her personal multicultural, aspirations and academic experience can further AMSA’s advocacy on the international level.

Michael Walls

Michael is a 4th year medical student at Touro University California College of Osteopathic Medicine going into Emergency Medicine. He joined AMSA in 2014 as a freshman at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and began growing his passion for health policy and advocacy. This is his 5th year in a national leadership role, having served as Medical Education and Professionalism coordinator, regional director, VPPD, and Med Ed Scorecard Chair.

Michael has a particular interest in healthcare access, especially among migrant populations, addiction medicine, community medicine, and medical education and plans to integrate all of these into his future practice. With AMSA, he hopes to expand membership, work with chapters on local advocacy, and helping AMSA garner more national attention.

In his free time, Michael enjoys hiking with his dog, beer tasting, rock climbing, and anything Star Wars related.

Isaiah Cochran, M.D.

Isaiah A. Cochran, M.D. serves as a key organizational spokesperson for AMSA and active promoter of the organization’s educational programming, advocacy pursuits and membership recruitment and engagement efforts.

In addition to serving as an AMSA board member since 2016, Cochran also has held leadership positions with Refugee Student Alliance and Global Health Initiative.

He earned his medical degree from the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine in Dayton, Ohio. During that time, he engaged in research at Dayton Children’s Hospital to identify incidental brain tumors in otherwise healthy children undergoing routine evaluations for head trauma.

He also investigated if early cognitive markers exist in infants prior to the diagnostic age of 24 months and if they can be utilized to differentiate between males and females with ASD for a study conducted at the Department of Clinical Cognitive Neuroscience at Harvard Medical School.

Hannah Hendrix

Hannah is a medical student and aspiring Emergency Medicine physician from The Ohio State University College of Medicine. She graduated from Wright State University with degrees in Biological Sciences and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Hannah has been a national leader with AMSA since 2017, serving on the Gender & Sexuality and Wellness & Student Life action committees and later on the board of regional directors before joining the Board of Trustees as President-Elect in 2020.

Hannah believes that AMSA’s emphasis on advocacy is essential for shaping the kind of physician we need: the kind who uses their collective voice to advocate for patients. At her home institution, she takes an active role in helping select future colleagues with this potential as a member of the OSUCOM admissions committee. As President, she hopes to foster the sense of AMSA community that has supported her throughout her journey to and through medical school, and to be a resource to AMSA’s members and leaders. Her areas of special advocacy interest—and this year’s AMSA advocacy priorities—are access to health care, reproductive justice, and medical education reform.

During her pre-clinical years, Hannah enjoyed directing UltraSound, the OSUCOM a cappella group. She also enjoys reading, hiking—especially near her hometown in Appalachian Ohio—and trying out new DIY projects. Following her President year, Hannah will return to Ohio State to complete her fourth year of medical school.